It was all a bit punk inspired in the Workman’s on Friday night, with a line up for the Bouts 7″ launch including support acts in Girl Band and We Are Losers. Think plenty of guitars rubbing against amps, reverb, screaming vocals and thrashing drums, and you’ll get a sense of what Friday night was all about.
These boys are the personification of a “garage” band – you can imagine their set would be practiced or performed with a similar amount of vigour regardless of the setting, and the small, early crowd on the night didn’t phase the boys in the slightest as they bashed out their set of often vicious punk tunes. Each time, I am absolutely won over by Girl Band – they are raw and unrepentant of their 90′s punk inspiration, and overtones of The Horrors come to mind in songs such as ‘Elastic‘ – one of the highlights of the set – with its low slung vocal lines that roughen up into impassioned and screamed choruses. Another winner for me is the band’s rendition of the Chemical Brothers’ song ‘Hanna‘ – whose introduction is in blocky, high pitched guitar line noises – which I would love to see more of in their set – it adds a splash of unabashed modernity to their otherwise old-school punk sound. There was a strange dichotomy, however, between the performance and the interludes; when the band’s introduction of themselves elicited wolf whistles from the crowd, frontman Dara Kiely responded hesitantly with “well, thats a first – I’m shy…” – hey, wait, really? Keep an eye out for the launch of the next single from these boys, it’s being released on the 10th of April.
We Are Losers
With a Facebook bio that claims “we sound like 4 adults trying to sound like 4 teenagers”, I did wonder what a stage show from We Are Losers would be like. Well, entertaining, frankly. Between Naas-related-in-jokes and easy banter with the crowd, We Are Losers, smashed out their delightfully messy, grungy tunes that brought to mind a mixture of Green Day and The Beach Boys. ‘The Narcissist‘ was amongst the opening tunes, and it epitomizes their sound – rackety guitars, quick fire drums and three-part harmonies that are actually better in real life than on the recordings, in my opinion. Other highlights included the namesake of frontman Gavins’ favorite movie ‘Streetfighter’ – whos’ double layered vocal lines are right up my alley, though I do wonder about the jovially-delivered lyrical content; I reckon there’s more substance behind the easily sung words than you’d first think – will study up and report back. On the night, we were also treated to an impromptu ‘Wedding Singer’ performance, when a “guitar emergency” saw Gavin launch himself onto the space in front of the stage and bounce around with dance moves that brought Carlton from The Fresh Prince to mind. Entertainers, certainly. These guys are also releasing a single towards the end of April. Nice one – I’ll go to that launch party.
Introducing themselves as “both gentlemen and idiots with guitars”, the Bouts boys were clearly in high spirits on Friday, which saw them release their ‘Get Sick / Turn Away’ Double A-Side 7″ in the Workmans’ unforgiving, but all-of-a-sudden-much-fuller main room. One of the title songs off the Split 7″ – ‘Get Sick’ – was one of the first of the set, and opens with a lovely, open guitar line before literally exploding into a noise wave with every instrument kicking in at once, and despite the rather unbecoming lyrical content, it is a great song. Followed up by ‘Barbs’ which I love for its guitars-that-sound-like-motor-cars appeal, the songs were interspersed with “witty, witty banter” or at least, those exact words were spoken, which is something similar I suppose! The set also included a new tune – which had a bouncy 90′s rock appeal, before banging into an all-instrumental chorus, outlined by an almost whispered “I won’t buy” lyric line. It’s great, although apparently “terrifying” to play seeing as it was a “virgin” song. One of the final songs – another on the 7″ – ‘Turn Away’ – which has a brand spanking new accompanying video, which you can check out here – even won me a new friend, in the shape of a snappily dressed older gent that was bouncing effervescently to the band’s tunes, so much so, I could only assume be “belonged” to one of the band members, which apparently, he did not, but he had a good time nonetheless. It was a great showing of a Friday night, and if you missed it you can still catch the tunes on the Bouts bandcamp here. or catch them on their upcoming Irish tour, details of which can be found here.